Canadian Forty-f'Ule Gold
Dredging Gompan;'-* ltd.
A suranary report
<5oB Wvedging Companp
filotiMM to 6ate
A Summary Report
The Canadian Forty -Mile
Gold Dredging Company
(Incorporated Undor the Dominion of Canada Companies Act)
Authorized Capital, $600,000.00
In 6,000 Shares of $100 each, par value, to be issued as fully paid up and non-assessable
Blake, Lash & Cassels, Toronto, Ont.
The Bank of British North America
501 Markham Street, Toronto, Ontario, Canada
Mr. Wm. J. Smith, President
361 Brunswick Avenue, Toronto, Ont.
Mr. F. E. Davison, Vice-President and General Manager
493 l^uclid Avenue, Toronto, Ont.
Dr. J. Ewart Brown, Secretary
501 Markham . Street, Toronto, Ont.
Dr. Andrew S. Grant, Treasurer
Mr. Geo. D. Forbes, Hespeler, Ont.
Mr. J. K. Haines, Toronto, Ont.
Junction ot l-o.iy-:\Ule ,m,l ~i ukon Ku.r
Objects of the Company: The Company was incorporated on December
1 2th, 1905, under the provisions of the Dominion of Canada Companies Act, and
will develop and operate by dredging that portion of the Forty-Mile River
extending from the junction with the Yukon to the International Boundary, in
all a distance of 23 miles.
Area and Titles: The Forty-Mile property consists of five Government leases
covering a distance of 23 miles on the Forty-Mile River, and includes that portion
of the river from where it empties into the Yukon to the International Boundary.
The five leases were applied for and granted by the Dominion Government to
James Joshua Rutledge in the year 1902 by the Minister of the Interior and are
described as follows : —
Starting at a point at the junction of the ^'ukon and the Forty-Mile River
and running to the International Boundary up the Forty-Mile River. The five
leases are on record in the Timber and Mines Bureau of the Department of the
Interior, and numbered 279, 280, 2S1, 282 and 283. The file number is 430 and
685, dated December 23rd, 1902.
The titles consist of the usual 20 year lease from the Dominion Government,
the validity of the transfers of which to the Company is vouched for by the
OKI mcllmd of Mlnlne on lorlv-Mile Rl^
History and General Character: The Forty-Mile River received fts name
from the fact that it empties into the Yukon River about forty miles below old
Fort Reliance on the Yukon River, being- about fifty miles below the present
Dawson City, and has a lentrth of about 150 miles extending into the mountain.
The lower portion of the river varies in width from 200 to 250 yards. The banks,
bars and islands are all gold bearing. The gravels vary from 5 to 15 feet to
bedrock. The bedrock consists of a hard mica schist more or less irregular and
broken, but easily mined.
Gold was first discovered in the Yukon in the eighties, and a number of
miners were engaged every season washing on the bars and prospecting on the
many streams throughout the district. In the year 1886 the first coarse gold
discovered in the country was found on Forty-Mile River The following season
witnessed great activity on this river, and according to the reports of William
Ogilvie, Dominion Land Surveyor, in 1897, about $130,000 of gold dust was
washed out of the bars by the primitive methods of rockers and panning.
Ever since that date there has been a considerable amount of work done on the
small streams flowing into the Forty-Mile, the main stream being not so easily
worked on account of the high water. With the crude appliances at the com-
skeleton of Dredge at woik
mand of the miners, the gold in the deeper parts of the bars, and the still richer
deposits in the actual channel of the river, could not be reached. The bars, as
a rule, have never been worked to a depth of more than two or three feet from
the surface, Below this depth the gravels of both bars and channel remain
untouched, awaiting the coming of improved appliances for getting down to it.
The gold is of a coarse quality characteristic of the district, and nuggets in value
as high as $39.00 have been found.
Fuel: The entire watershed of Forty-Mile is more or less wooded with birch and
spruce of dimensions that will furnish abundance of fuel for power on the dredges
if necessary for many years to come. Coal also may be had at Forty-Mile town
for $7.00 per ton.
Electric Power: About eight miles from the mouth of Forty-Mile River there
is a large canyon with sufficient fall to furnish electric power for the operation
of the dredges to be installed, thus making a great saving in the cost of operating.
Values of Forty-Mile: According to reports in the Yukon, where tests
have been made, one man could not wash more than two or three cubic yards of
gravel with rocker per day, and we note in McConnell's Government report of
A modern 3000 yards per day Bucket Dredge
iSgi, in speaking of the Forty-Mile River, he says: "In 1887 over two hundred
miners were actively and successfully employed along the numerous bars, and the
total yield for the season was variously estimated from $65,000 to $150,000."
Wm. Ogilvie, D.L.S., in his report to the Government, says: "The miners
informed me that there was about $1 30,000 taken out during the season of 1887."
McConnell says, "The average value of labor is $10 a day per man, and
bars which yield less than this are soon abandoned."
Therefore, according to the Government reports, the miners in those early
days could not afford to spend time on gravel bars that did net yield at least $2
to $3 to the cubic yard, and with such simple gold saving contrivances as the
pan and rocker, winnings from $10 to $50 per day to the man was not uncommon.
One of the present owners had portions of the river carefully prospected and
these proved to be gold bearing, and in some instances running high in values,
increasing in richness as bedrock was reached. This river has always borne the
name among old miners of being one of the best gold bearing streams in the
Five and a half cubic fool Bucket
Development: The Company has at present one dipper dredge which was
installed just before navigation closed last season. Their intention is to
instal a large bucket dredge of 3000 cubic yards per day capacity at the begin-
ning of the season of 1906, and one each succeeding year until five have been
installed, or one on each five mile lease.
The gravels of Forty-IViile River are not frozen as in the Klondyke and other
creeks near Dawson, so that the dredges will be able to be worked more nearly
up to their full capacity.
Size and Type of Dredge: The latest and most improved type of elevator
dredge has a water-tight bucket. These buckets carry considerable water with
the gravel, which facilitates the washing operation, and the material being
brought up in smaller masses than by the dipper dredge, is more easily broken
up and disintegrated in the revolving grizzley. For these reasons the elevator
bucket dredge is the ideal type for placer mining, and was determined a few
years ago in the New Zealand and Australian gold fields where this type has
been successfully employed, and is now being worked with great success in the
Yukon. These dredges may be operated by either steam or electricity. They
have been so improved in the last few years that they are now capable of digging
Five and a half Open Connecled Buckets and Upper Tumble
to a depth of 75 feet, and have the capacity of handling over 3000 cubic yards
per day. The buckets have been increased from 500 pounds to over 1200 pounds
each, having lips made of manganese steel which will dig very hard bedrock. All
parts subjected to much wear and tear are made cf manganese steel and easily
The average power used for a large dredge is about 200 H.P. The gold
saving tables on these dredges have an area of about 1200 square feet. The
tailings and waste are carried back on a rubber belt elevator, depositing them 90
feet behind the dredge.
For the past three years a small bucket dredge has been operated success-
fully on Bonanza Creek, near Dawson, but not until the past season was there a
large dredge of the latest and most improved type installed by the Canadian
Klondyke Mining Company, which handled approximately 3000 cubic yards per
day, and the savings of which amounted to over $100,000 for the first 30 days,
on ground which had been previously worked by the old methods. Another of
these large dredges was installed by the Bonanza Gold Basin Dredging Company
a short time before the season closed and it also proved very successful during
1 ailings Elevator
the time it was in operation. It has been demonstrated in the Yukon, where
expenses are high, that with these dredges with large capacity, the gravel can be
handled at a cost of less than ten cents per cubic yard In unfrozen ground. It
is useless to predict what the future has in store for gold dredging so rapidl) has
the industry developed during the past three years. The improvement is steady
and the field is constantly increasing. Ground is being handled to-day that
three years ago was placed out of the possibility of dredges. Not only can
harder and coarser deposits be handled but the depth to which these machines
can attain is constantly increasing. In the Yukon there is by far the richest,
auriferous gravels the world has ever known, covering a large area of country,
and a very large proportion of this area can be worked by the dredge and made
to pay handsome profits.
with 50 Horse Power
Values and Profits: A large dredge i wwy be installed at a cost not exceed-
The cost of operation per day will not exceed $210.00. The average length
of a season for dredging in the Yukon is 170 days, but to be conservative we
place it at 150 days. Maknig the cost of operation for the season approximately
The dredge has a capacity of 3000 cubic yards per day, but we have reduced
this to 2,500 yards per day, which in a season of 150 days would treat 375,000
cubic yards of gravel.
By taking the Government reports of Wm. Ogilvie and R. G. McConnell
the value of the gravels of Forty-Mile River, worked by the miners of 1887, must
have averaged between two and three dollars to the cubic yard ; but to be
extremely conservative we have placed the average values at 75 cents per cubic
yard. This would give an earning capacity of $281,250, at a cost of $31,250,
leaving a clear profit of $250,000 on one dredge for a full season's work. When
the five dredges are installed and at work one can see that the possibilities are
very great, and would still be handsome even at a profit of half the above figures.
Gold Saving Tables
Conclusion: Do not mistake quartz mining for placer mining. In the quartz
mine the gold is in the solid rock and requires intricate and expensive methods
of extracting it, while in the placer mine the gold is loose in the gravel and only
requires washing with water to acquire the gold. So that the chief aim has been
to adopt a process that will treat the greatest amount of gravel at the least cost,
and no method can compare with the modern dredge, as its capacity is so great,
and three men only are required to work it. It not only saves all nuggets and
fine gold, but also saves the float and microscopic gold. It will work on ground
that is level and without grade, and only requires the smallest stream of water,
in fact, the full of a two inch pipe would be sufficient. There is no investment,
commercial or otherwise, that can be estimated with greater certainty than gold
dredging, as the exact cost of the dredge, property, labor, fuel, etc., as well as
the values of the ground may be ascertained. The capacity of the dredge is also
definite, so that an investment in a proposition of this nature can be estimated
with greater certainty than the average commercial enterprise.
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UNIVERSITY OF TORONTO LIBRARY
.ID Canadian Forty-fiile Gold
9536 Dredging Company » ltd.
G24C33 A siuranar;'- report